Carling Cup: Sir Alex Ferguson Apologises To Fans

Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United Manager
Sir Alex Ferguson Apologises Over Man Utd 2-1 Carling Cup Quarter Final Result
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson apologised to United fans for his team's performance in their 2-1 Carling Cup quarter-final loss to Crystal Palace.

Under the leadership of Dougie Freedman Crystal Palace manager, Palace took the lead through a stunning swerving strike from Darren Ambrose at 65 minutes. United's Federico Macheda scored a goal from the penalty spot. Palace forced the game into extra-time and grabbed the winner with a Murray header from an Ambrose free-kick.

Palace avoided Premier League big guns Manchester City and Liverpool to draw fellow Championship side Cardiff in the upcoming semi-finals.

"I don't know where to start to be honest," said Ferguson. "My apologies are to the fans because that was not a Manchester United performance.

"I don't want to take anything away from Crystal Palace," he added. "I am just very disappointed."

Ferguson went on: "I wish them every success and hope they get to the final because it was a fantastic, mammoth effort from them tonight.

"There was no tactical genius. We had to dig in. I felt we had a good gameplan and I thought every single player stuck to our gameplan

"Every one of their players worked their socks off to try to get to the semi-final."

Substitute Murray appeared to be off-side when the cross came in, and Ferguson was convinced the goal should not have counted.

"Obviously the goal was offside - the second goal - from what I have seen," he said.

"We are not getting any luck from linesmen just now but I can't take that away from Crystal Palace. They fought hard to get the result and they deserve it."

Ahead of this clash, Palace had not scored for 485 minutes.

"They should be proud of themselves," he said. "They stuck together and I think that was a really good cup tie between two teams who gave everything," said Dougie Freedman.

"In the last 15-20 minutes of extra time the desire shone through in the end.

"That is what they should be proud of. Sir Alex has a wonderful team, they kept on going.

"We had to dig in and show that hunger and desire to see the tie through and that is what they have done.

"There was no tactical genius. We had to dig in. I felt we had a good gameplan and I thought every single player stuck to our gameplan."

Freedman expects a huge challenge from Cardiff in the Semi-Final.

"It's probably the hardest draw, to be honest," he said. "They are up at the top of the Championship and it is going to be very difficult for us.

"But I am just proud of the lads, to get through to the semi-finals from where we have come from in the last couple of years - relegation zones and administrations.

"We will enjoy tonight and approach that when it comes along."

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